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Old May 1st, 2017, 12:34 PM   #681
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the last couple of posts has been on Autism-related events and organisations in Connecticut.

The Autism Society of Connecticut is a Guilford, Connecticut-based nonprofit that helps to connect parents and professionals with autism resources, educates communities about autism and supports families through mini-grants. A statewide organization, ASCONN offers many resources, including support groups, autism orientation workshops, information and referral, conferences, educational programs, social opportunities, advocacy and training...
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Eight years ago, very few resources existed for parents of autistic children [here]. Tina Stawicki was one of them.

Stawicki spent Saturday afternoon at the fifth annual Puzzlethon, which benefits the Autism Society of Connecticut. According to Stawicki and Sharon Cable, the motif -- a jigsaw puzzle piece is perhaps the most public symbol of autism -- was especially fitting. "A lot of people on the spectrum enjoy puzzles," said Cable.

Estimates about how much the Puzzlethon -- structured much like a walkathon -- raised were unavailable. The event was one of 10 going on throughout the state... The attendees -- an estimated 50 -- who met at Northwestern Connecticut Community College gathered to complete puzzles of any kind, ranging from jigsaw puzzles to crosswords and Sudoku puzzles, as well as assembling Lego bricks.

..."Everyone sees a different piece of the puzzle," Stawicki said.

However, it was not long ago that parents such as Stawicki had few, if any, resources available. Stawicki contacted Cable shortly after finding out that her son, Ethan, was autistic. Cable lent support wherever possible, advising Stawicki on meetings before potentially enrolling Ethan in public school. Stawicki eventually decided to home-school her son, but resources have been growing in Litchfield County.

...Stawicki's husband posted a bulletin about the Puzzlethon at his workplace -- O&G Industries's main office on Wall Street in Torrington -- and, according to Stawicki, his coworkers pooled together approximately $1,000 to donate towards the Autism Society of Connecticut. Stawicki said that after talking to them, her husband found that other coworkers had children along the spectrum.

"It opened doors in that sense," Stawicki said.

Northwestern Connecticut Community College has been helpful in that regard as well. In addition to hosting the Puzzlethon, Northwestern Connecticut Community College will host an advocacy program for parents, starting in the coming days. The college also holds a parent support group on the second Thursday of every month. All of these programs come in advance of April, which is Autism Awareness Month.

"The school's been very generous," Beck said...
Here is a link to photos from the Autism Society of Connecticut's 'Puzzlethon' event from seven years ago: https://www.flickr.com/photos/richar...57623585726498


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Old May 9th, 2017, 12:22 PM   #682
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the last few posts has been on Autism-related events and organisations in Connecticut.

Autism Services & Resources Connecticut (ASRC) is a Wallingford, Connecticut-based nonprofit that works with various individuals, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. ASRC provides workshops, training and resources...
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People from all over Connecticut ...flooded the streets downtown Sunday for the 16th annual Autism Spectrum Resource Center walk.

About 2,600 people turned out, Julie Hipp, board president of resource center, estimated based on registration and food tickets.

Earlier, about 250 people attended the Cinco de Miles run in Orange that the resource center cosponsored with the Orange Chamber of Commerce, according to Hipp.

...The 3-mile walk began at 10:15 a.m. Many families donned T-shirts announcing their teams or who they were supporting.

Dogs were dressed up in costumes; some children were rolled around in wagons. Singers were placed along the trail strategically to entertain.

After the walk, families convened at Choate Rosemary Hall to play games, eat and catch up with one another.

Cheryl Gamester, team Sweet Pea Autism Rocks, has been attending the walk for years in support of her 11-year-old nephew, Brett, who has autism.

"We've seen people here year after year, we've made friends, we run into them every year," Gamester said.

Rachel Macht, whose husband has been taking photos of the walk the last few years, said it's fun to look at the photos over the years and see how the teams have grown.

'We've noticed that these groups are doubling in size," Macht said. "So they're even more aware and bringing awareness to autism. There are also families who don't have names, but they're here for the same exact reason, to raise money and awareness for autism."

Macht says even though smaller families might not consider themselves as "teams," they're representing their children and they face the same struggles the larger teams do.

Hipp ...says it is critical to have a state-based organization to help guide families to the right services for their children, and to advocate for legislation on the state level.

ASRC works with families to provide education, recreation and support for the families and individuals affected by the spectrum. The group also works with paramedics and other professionals to educate them on what autism is to help them better serve the community.

"I know probably 70 percent of these families, and it's nice to know that we really helped them," Hipp said.

As a nonprofit, Hipp says the money raised from the walk is critical to the organization's ability to provide services. On average, the walk generates $150,000, making it ASRC's biggest fundraiser, Hipp said...
Here is a link to a video of an ASRC public service announcement from several years ago:


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Old May 14th, 2017, 07:33 PM   #683
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

After a 6 year thread length and no other member replying, what has this to do with pheromones?
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Old May 14th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #684
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

Hi Wotan. In the lounge section, off-topic threads are tolerated. This thread has an important number of views, I guess it's interesting for many people.
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Old May 14th, 2017, 08:18 PM   #685
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

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Originally Posted by Conjurator View Post
Hi Wotan. In the lounge section, off-topic threads are tolerated. This thread has an important number of views, I guess it's interesting for many people.
Ah. Okay. I read through a few pages expecting something about using pheromones as a treatment for autism.
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Old May 17th, 2017, 12:23 PM   #686
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the recent posts has mainly been on Autism-related events and organisations in Connecticut.

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR) is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, that serves individuals all over the United States. This includes children with Autism Spectrum Disorders...
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Friday, November 4, will be a special day for Amelia Cunningham of Niantic, Connecticut, as she receives her Autism Response Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Amelia will be welcoming into her home and heart a Golden Retriever named 'Thor.' Based in Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities [including] in the case of Amelia--Autism Spectrum Disorder...

Thor has already received thousands of hours of training as Autism service dog through SDWR's puppy raiser training program where volunteers raise puppies in training for about a period of one year and then through the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia.

Thor will continue to learn under the careful guidance of a certified trainer from SDWR and through the rapport he develops with Amelia and her parents, at their home in Niantic.

Amelia who is 9 years old has had to face the daily challenges associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder since being diagnosed at the age of 5. "Amelia has sensory challenges, impulse control issues and experiences some sleep pattern disturbances" states her mom, Kayla. "We also experience some elopement issues."

Autism Spectrum Disorder does hinder a person's ability to process sensory stimulation, handle socialization experiences and even realize danger situations. New scientific research studies into Autism therapy provide positive evidence of the difference a service dog can make. Dan Warren states, "The studies showed children experienced fewer sensory overloads, 'meltdowns,' smiled more frequently, experienced better sleep patterns, and had less frustration when around their service dog." Autism service dogs are also trained to redirect away from repetitive and sometimes harmful behaviors. One of the main goals when training an Autism service dog is the need to keep a child safe; when the family goes out, the child may literally be tethered to the dog, or the dog will use its natural herding and blocking abilities to keep him or her from running off or getting hurt. According to Mr. Warren, "the studies further found that safety aspect was a huge relief for families as parents' anxiety over their child can lead to social isolation."

Now with the arrival of Thor, Amelia and her parents will have yet another tool, a four-legged one that has received training to assist her to live a happier and more enriching life. Since Thor is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Amelia everywhere--from school to restaurants, shopping and even trips to the doctor. Thor will keep Amelia safe as well as help her cope with the sensory overload challenges that come with an Autism diagnosis.

Thor will continue to work with the SDWR trainers in the Cunningham home to learn new skills to assist Amelia as well as to achieve public access certification. Certification must be achieved by Thor and his handler--in this case, Amelia's parents. Dan Warren is quick to point out that, "all the incredible services these dogs can provide are through progression, hard work and dedication of the organization and the family who must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals. This is about an 18-month program for follow up and customization training."

What sets SDWR apart from other non-profit service dog organizations are the customized training methods and SDWR matches dogs to their 'person.' According to Dan Warren, "that important bonding time between dog and person can begin to happen right away. For nearly a decade we've been utilizing this method of dog placement and we've achieved amazing results."

Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the Organization in its mission, "Until there's a cure--there's a dog."...
Here is a link to a video from SDWR:


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Old May 18th, 2017, 12:57 PM   #687
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the the last post was Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR) is a non-profit organization based in Madison, Virginia, that serves individuals all over the United States. This includes children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) is an Oakton, Virginia-based nonprofit that supports those touched by autism in Northern Virginia through events, advocacy, education and programming. ASNV works towards a day when no one will have to walk the autism journey alone...
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July is the hottest month for Hollywood's cavalcade of blockbuster films, as studios compete for audience dollars and crash into each other to be the first to release their tent-pole films...

#Smuggling in snacks, snagging a ticket and finding parking are typically the biggest hurdles for those who clamor to see these blockbusters in a cool, dark theater.

#But for children with autism and their families, the summer movie experience can be a daunting array of sights, smells and sounds...

#"My 9-year-old son Jason can't be exposed to overpowering or sudden noises, and he doesn't do well in very dark rooms," said Marjorie Williams of McLean. "When he gets excited, he likes to jump around and flap his arms, so he needs a good amount of personal space."

#Fortunately for children like Jason, AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society of America have teamed up to offer the 'Sensory Friendly Films' program - an effort to give special needs children a chance to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment.

#"As a leading theatrical exhibition company, we are so proud to be making a difference in the estimated 1.5 million Americans living with an autism spectrum disorder by offering families a chance to see a movie together -- often for the very first time," said Ryan Noonan, public relations director for AMC.

#Noonan said the concept of Sensory Friendly Films began in 2007 at the request of a Maryland mother, who took her young daughter to a matinee of Hairspray, a film her daughter was excited to see.

#When her daughter began flapping her hands, dancing and jumping up and down, her family was asked to leave the screening.

#The next day, the mother called her local AMC Theatre in Columbia, Md. and asked the manager if he would be willing to set up a special screening for children on the autism spectrum. He readily agreed, and AMC hosted its first sensory-friendly film in Columbia, Md. in 2007. The demand was so high, the theater sold out all ...seats.

#AMC's corporate office took note of the success of the screenings, and contacted the Autism Society of America to join forces and mobilize affiliates and theatres in towns around the country. AMC now offers monthly sensory-friendly screenings at 152 theaters throughout the U.S. and Canada.

#"The lights are turned up, the sound is turned down, and the 'silence is golden' rule is lifted - singing and dancing along is encouraged," said a promotion for 'Sensory Saturdays' on the website of The Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV), located in Oakton. ASNV promotes the sensory-friendly films series to their community of more than 5,000 individuals and families affected by autism throughout Northern Virginia.

#Currently, AMC Theatres is the only national theater chain that offers these sensory-friendly screenings.

Coming to AMC Tysons Corner 16
#The following list of Sensory-Friendly Films is scheduled at AMC Tysons Corner 16. All shows begin at 10 a.m. For more information on the film series, go to amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films.

#Saturday, Aug 22, 2015 - Underdogs

#Saturday, Sep 26, 2015 -- Hotel Transylvania

#Saturday, Oct 17, 2015 - Pan

#Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 -- The Peanuts Movie

#Saturday, Dec 5, 2015 -- The Good Dinosaur

#In Northern Virginia, sensory friendly movies are held monthly on Saturday mornings at AMC Tyson's Corner 16 in Mclean, AMC Potomac Mills 18 in Woodbridge, and AMC Rio Cinemas 18 in Gaithersburg, AMC Georgetown 14, and AMC Capital Center 12 in Washington.

#Movies are typically rated G or PG, and they start promptly at 10 a.m. Previews and advertisements are eliminated. The lights are dimmed, but not turned off, and the surround sound is muted. Because some children may have strict, special dietary needs, families are permitted to bring their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks from home.

...#Best of all, children are allowed to be themselves.

#They can shout out their thoughts, clap whenever they feel like it, dance in the aisles or twirl in their seats. For once, parents of children with autism can sit back, enjoy the show and trade smiles instead of criticism...
Here is a link to a video from ASNV from a couple of years ago:


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Old May 20th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #688
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the last couple of posts has been on Autism-related events and organisations in the state of Virginia.

Commonwealth Autism is a Richmond, Virginia-based nonprofit whose mission is to build the capacity of the autism and developmental disability service provider network through leadership, innovation, example, and collaboration. Commonwealth Autism is a Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) provider...
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Shenandoah University and Commonwealth Autism are collaborating on an initiative to deliver graduate instruction to professionals in Central Virginia who seek advanced skills in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is the science and technology behind improving human behavior and helps improve the lives of individuals living with various disabilities, including autism. Careers that require post-graduate degrees in ABA are in high demand and outnumber the available professionals with graduate degrees.

"A decade or so ago, no one heard of 'applied behaviour analysis' or even knew what a behavior analyst was," said Coordinator of Shenandoah University's ABA Program and Associate Professor of Psychology Brandon Greene, Ph.D. "Now, ABA is cocktail conversation?there is a worldwide community of about 18,000 practicing professionals with advanced degrees in ABA. Here in the United States, Commonwealth Autism has been at the forefront of initiatives incorporating ABA in the service of children and adults with autism, employing some of the most talented behavior analysts in the profession. It's an honor for us to be a partner in this initiative."

The new educational initiative will allow individuals residing in, and around, the greater Richmond region to earn a master's degree in ABA, or take the necessary coursework to become eligible to pursue Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. An informational seminar will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1, at Commonwealth Autism's Richmond offices (4108 E. Parham Road, Richmond, Virginia).

The seminar is designed for individuals who are working with human service agencies or are interested in working in this area, hold a bachelor's degree and are interested in a master's degree, or hold a master's degree in education or psychology and wish to pursue BCBA certification. Classes will begin in the fall of 2016.

"For 20 years, Commonwealth Autism has worked to grow services across the state of Virginia in a strategic and systematic way, making the most of limited resources," said Commonwealth Autism President & CEO John Toscano. "Partnering with Shenandoah to offer pre-service training to young professionals will no doubt enhance our ability to carry out our mission and improve services for Virginians with autism."...
Here is a link to a video from Commonwealth Autism:


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Old May 21st, 2017, 09:36 AM   #689
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the last couple of posts has been on Autism-related events and organisations in the state of Virginia.

SwimRVA is a Richmond, Virginia-based nonprofit whose mission is to elevate swimming in the Richmond region making water safety and aquatic fitness more accessible to all; its vision is to change lives through aquatics, including for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders...
Quote:
A new SwimRVA program may provide some peace of mind to parents of children with autism.

...SwimRVA, the nonprofit which runs the Collegiate School Aquatics Center in Chesterfield, is offering a program that provides one-on-one swimming lessons for autistic children.

It was a natural extension of one of the nonprofit's missions, to drown-proof metro area residents, according to Deb Kelo, director of programs for SwimRVA.

"We realized we had to do something," she said.

The program began April 5 and took about a year to develop, according to Kelo. There are about 13 children participating, with lessons given at the aquatics center. SwimRVA worked with the Autism Society of Central Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University's Autism Center for Excellence to develop the autism program.

"Many individuals with autism love and are drawn to water; therefore, water safety and swimming instruction are extremely important for those with autism," said Becky Boswell, executive director for Autism Society Central Virginia.

Lessons are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, with seven instructors available to provide a half hour of individualized training. The cost is $92 a month for one weekly lesson, or $168 for two weekly sessions. Some help may be available in paying for the lessons through the ASCV Social & Recreational Scholarship Program. Membership is monthly.

...Currently, the youngest swimmer is 3 and a half, [Kelo] said. One goal is to work with the children so they can participate in regular programs such as group lessons or swim teams.

The program has additional benefits, even for children who already know how to swim.

For 13-year-old Kyle Aldridge, the classes offers a chance to work on improving his technique and to get a bit of exercise, according to his mother, Holly.

Parents are encouraged to stay and watch, and the Carytown resident has been impressed with the staff?s effectiveness in working with the children.

"They did their homework and I'm really impressed with that," she says.

Kyle has been at the pool twice a week since the program began, and enjoys it. He wants to participate in a swim competition, and will stay active in the program "for as long as we can," says his mom. It's something to work towards, so we are."

Ashland resident Jennifer Mistall-Kashinejad says her son, 11-year-old Aden, is a strong swimmer, but like Kyle, needs instruction in improving his swim strokes.

"He loves the water, so anything to do with swimming or access to that is a bonus for him," she said.

Enhancing his technique and stroke would help him get to safety in case of a mishap. She also hopes that Aden may eventually be able to be part of their neighbourhood's summer swim team.

"He's a good swimmer, but I wanted him to learn stronger skills, " she said.

Mistall-Kashinejad said she's been impressed with how the instructional staff has adapted on the job. She said they had a good clinical understanding of autism going into the program, and are "doing a good job of adapting to real-life autism."...
Here is a link to a video from SwimRVA from last year:


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Old May 22nd, 2017, 12:11 PM   #690
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

The subject of the recent posts has been on Autism-related events and organisations in the state of Virginia.

The Faison Center is a Richmond, Virginia-based nonprofit whose mission is clear - to give children and adults with autism and related challenges the best opportunity to improve their life's journey through evidence-based practice. Our mission across the lifespan is accomplished through specific programs designed to meet the needs of families at different points in their lives, such as the Faison School, and the Faison Behavioral Health Clinic...
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A private school for people with autism is planning a massive expansion in coming years that would add five buildings to its campus in Henrico County and about 75 children.

The Faison Center plans on constructing two- or three-story buildings to add space for classrooms, offices, a gym, a community center, and a retail and medical office on the 6.4-acre site located on the northeast corner of Byrd and Fitzhugh avenues. The Henrico Planning Commission approved the expansion Wednesday.

"This will allow us to create a center to serve more children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities that will be a model for the country," Brian McCann, president and CEO of Faison, said in an email.

Mike Laing, executive vice president for ECI Development Services, said the planning commissioners approved what is essentially a 'master plan' for development that the center is planning over the next five to 10 years.

...The expansion would enable the center to move some of the programs it offers elsewhere in the neighborhood onto the campus located ...near the Shops at Willow Lawn and accommodate more students.

McCann said the new plans would allow the center to serve more than 200 students between 5 and 22 years old, up from the 150 students it now serves. Students hail from 27 school jurisdictions, from as far as Fredericksburg, Westmorland County and Dinwiddie County.

The campus also will add 24 younger children -- ages 16 months to 5 years old -- to its Early Education Center, bringing the total to 40. Faison also will increase its diagnostic and evaluation services, as well as expand its after-school therapy program and the adult day program, McCann said.

"These plans allow us to continue to pioneer possibility," he stated.

Construction dates will be determined in the near future. McCann and Laing declined to say how much the expansion will cost.

The Faison School for Autism was founded in 1998...
Here is a link to a video from the nonprofit:

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